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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
By: Dr. Nogalski Spring is a great time for youth soccer. All ages and experience levels of young soccer players will make their way onto the pitch in the next few weeks. As parents we want to cheer on our favorite soccer players while making sure they’re safe. There are a few common injuries that your child may face during this soccer season: Knee injuries - ACL sprains (tears in the anterior cruciate ligament) are some of the most common soccer injuries. Some knee injuries can prevented by wearing the proper size of cleats and being mindful of the situation. Achilles tendonitis - Inflamed or damaged Achilles tendons can occur when a player does not properly stretch or condition prior to the game. The most effective way to prevent Achilles tendonitis for soccer players is for the coaching staff to lead their players in stretching exercises throughout the week, before the game, and following the game. You as a parent can look ...

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts from Orthopedic Associates
St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts from Orthopedic Associates
By: Dr. Nogalski St. Patrick’s Day is almost here! Shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and of course, green beer are all in season as the luck of the Irish sweeps across St. Louis. There are all sorts of legends and interesting tidbits about St. Patrick that may surprise you. Here are a few fun facts about St. Patrick and one of St. Louis’ favorite holidays: St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but did you know he wasn’t even Irish? He was English! St. Patrick was born around A.D. 387 in either Scotland or Wales (historians argue over which country is the right birth location). Whether it was Scotland or Wales, both countries were then a part of the Roman Empire. St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates at age 16. He was brought back to Ireland and sold into slavery. He spent the next six years as a shepherd in the hill country of Ireland. He escaped at age 22 ...

Best local St. Louis biking trails to ride off that Thanksgiving Turkey
By: Dr. Nogalski Thanksgiving is here and that means football, family, and feeling overstuffed after a turkey dinner. One of the best ways to get your metabolism up and burn off the Thanksgiving excess is to hit the bike trails around St. Louis. Grant’s Trail The long and winding Grant’s Trail passes along Grant’s Farm and into Whitecliff Park. The main loop is about eight miles long. The first six miles are paved and the next two miles are unpaved so plan accordingly. Park at Grant’s Farm and lace up your riding shoes for a beautiful scenic ride through the fall foliage. Castlewood State Park Castlewood State Park features eight beautiful trails for any level of cyclist to enjoy. There are some mountain bike trails and some road trails that travel along the Meramec River and through open meadows. Katy Trail State Park Katy Trail State Park is one of our best-kept secrets in St. Louis. A ten-mile between Weldon Spring and Augusta will give you a good workout and beautiful scenery. Stop in Matson for a quick breather and some apple pie. You won’t ...

What is Jumper’s Knee?
What is Jumper’s Knee?
By: Dr. Nogalski You hop down from the last few rungs of a ladder and immediately wince in pain. Your left knee gives a sharp twinge. It hasn’t been the same since your pickup basketball game at the gym last week. You may be suffering from jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis according to its official name. The patellar tendon connects your kneecap to your shinbone and is designed to work with the range of the knee joint. The patellar tendon helps your knee flex, bend, and absorb impact, like jumping. Overuse of the patellar tendon can occur during activities that require repetitive jumping, like gymnastics, football, basketball, and even everyday activities. Symptoms of jumper’s knee The most telltale sign of jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis) is a sharp pain between your kneecap and the top of your shinbone. Difficulty bending your knee or doing a small jump can also be a sign of patellar tendonitis. If you are experiencing any noticeable swelling or redness, you should immediately contact your primary care physician. Self-care treatment of jumper’s knee Thankfully, overuse injuries can often heal themselves with ...

How to recover from ACL surgery
How to recover from ACL surgery
By: Dr. Nogalski Approximately 200,000 ACL-related injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Of those 200,000 injuries, an estimated 95,000 injuries are full ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament. Professional athletes and rec-league wonders are familiar with the shin-grasping scene of an ACL injury. If you’re lucky, you may experience only a Grade 1 sprain. Unfortunately, many ACL injuries are at least a Grade 2 sprain, which is a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. Most Grade 2 ACL sprains and all Grade 3 ACL sprains do require surgery. The recovery period following ACL surgery can be grueling, but the rehabilitation process is worth it. You will probably be given a set of exercises to complete in the recovery room immediately following the surgery. This will encourage good blood flow through your knee to help prevent blood clots. Your primary concerns in the first two weeks following surgery are to reduce swelling in your knee and to keep the incision area clean. Prop your knee up on a pillow four to six times a day to relieve pressure. Your orthopedic specialist ...

Wrapping up the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Wrapping up the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
By: Dr. Nogalski The stories leading up to Rio 2016 Olympic Games were characterized by cautionary hope. We hope the facilities are ready. We hope the civil unrest is at peace for the Games. We hope the Zika virus doesn’t place any athletes at risk. We also hope our star-studded, star-spangled U.S. team had a historic victory on the medal stand. To the best of our knowledge, all of our hopes came true. The United States led all countries in Olympic success at Rio with 121 medals, including 46 golds, 37 silvers, and 38 bronzes. The next closest country, China, finished with 70 total medals. It marked the sixth Olympic games in a row that the U.S. topped the medal count and the largest difference in total medals of a non-boycotted Olympics since the 1924 Olympics. The host country of Brazil did have impressive showings in several competitions, winning gold in men’s soccer in a breath-taking final shootout. They also fielded a men’s gymnastics team for the first time in Olympic history and secured multiple medals in individual apparatuses. Beach volleyball is ...

Does an ACL tear require surgery?
Does an ACL tear require surgery?
By: Dr. Nogalski The door opens and your doctor walks in with the MRI results- your ACL is torn. Now what?! The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL as it’s most commonly known, is the most vital ligament throughout the knee joint. The ACL begins at your shin bone and continues through your knee and connects with your femur (upper thigh bone). It’s less than two inches long and at most half-an-inch wide but this essential ligament keeps your thigh and leg bones in place among other functions. If you hear a loud ‘pop’ in your knee, it’s often the telltale sign of a torn ACL. But what if you’re not certain? Don’t try to diagnose a potential ACL injury yourself; let a board-certified physician examine your knee with their trained insight. Thankfully, not all ACL injuries require surgery. There are several instances where a torn ACL may not require surgery based on the nature and extent of the injury. Ligament injuries are often called “sprains” and are typically diagnosed on three distinct grades: Grade 1: Moderate ...

What to know before getting a Cortisone Shot
What to know before getting a Cortisone Shot
By: Dr. Michael Nogalski Picture yourself in your doctor’s office with the same shoulder pain that’s cramped your work for the past three years. There’s swelling around the rotator cuff and you feel your shoulder locking up at different points throughout the day. Your doctor recommends you get a Cortisone injection… but what does that even mean? What is a cortisone shot? What are the side effects of a cortisone injection? And, will it even work for you? A cortisone shot usually involves two elements: a local anesthetic, and a corticosteroid medication to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Many cortisone injections can be administered in your doctor’s office, but there is a limit to how many cortisone shots you can receive in a period of time because of possible side effects. Injections should be limited to at least four to six weeks between administrations and no more than four injections in the same location in a calendar year. (Arthritis-Health.com) Cortisone injections come with a variety of possible side effects and risks, such as the following and more: ...

What is the purpose of a meniscus? And, how does a meniscus function?
What is the purpose of a meniscus? And, how does a meniscus function?
What is a meniscus? The meniscus is a small C-shaped fibrous cartilage disc that resides in the knee joint between the ends of the upper and lower leg bones. Your knee actually has two meniscus (menisci): the lateral meniscus on the outside of the knee, and the slightly larger medial meniscus on the inside of the knee. The menisci are highly resilient due to the blood flow that enters the knee region and assists in healing and recovery. How does a meniscus function? Your menisci are very important for two reasons: Menisci serve as a cushion between your upper leg bone and lower leg bone. They absorb much of the weight and strain during flexion, extension, rotation, and other necessary functions as part of everyday life and even athletic activity. Studies show that the meniscus absorbs between 50-90% of load transmission. (NCBI) The medial meniscus can manipulate its shape to move as much as up to six millimeters forward or backward. (Source) The lateral meniscus can move almost twice the range of the medial meniscus, ...

Spring sports safety tips for kids
Spring sports safety tips for kids
Winter is melting away and that means spring is here! Our favorite Cardinals are flying back home to chase another championship and kiddos across St. Louis are gearing up for spring sports season. Whether your favorite family athlete is into soccer, baseball, track, or spring flag football, you want to see them stay safe and healthy this spring. Over 1.2 million children in the U.S. are treated in emergency departments each year due to sports injuries. (SafeKids) Be a good parent and help your kid stay safe this spring with these sports safety tips: Schedule a PPE with your pediatrician - Before signing your kid up for the next sports season, make sure they get a preparticipation physical exam with their pediatrician. You want to know your child’s body is capable of enjoying sports safely. Stretch and warm up first - It’s important for kids to stretch before and after any athletic experience. Be careful that they only stretch to a level ...